Lead companies produce good quality "real" leads — you just don't get them

By Tasha Bertoldi

Lococity Media Group


We've all been through the same frustration with lead companies. Let's see if this sounds familiar: They promise you real time leads, most give you free leads to start with, and no matter how much you grill the sales person you have on the phone, they'll insist their leads are different than the last company you tried.

Most start out fairly strong. The free leads are usually worthless (nothing's free, right?), but the leads you actually pay for are good for about the first week or so. Then suddenly the quality takes quite a turn.

People "didn't request insurance quotes," or the number isn't even working. I always thought it strange that a real time lead could never be reached. And then that occasional lead that I did reach was so fresh the prospect was still on the computer. Hmmmm.

So, what's the deal? How could a lead company produce so much junk, and so rarely a good quality lead? Are there that many people out there just entering erroneous details? Hard to imagine.

Sometimes I'd call and talk with a sales agent from the lead company, and the leads would strangely get better for a few days. I finally reached a girl at once who actually told me she had "shut off the third party sources" I was constantly having problems with. She told me they would eventually turn back on, and I'd have to call back.

I didn't understand any of this at all, but after talking with her, the leads were amazing (for about a week). When I called back, of course this girl was no longer working there. She was too honest to be in the lead industry.

Forget about the notion that we are buying these leads, and they're supposed to be real people who would like to talk to us about insurance. That's bad enough. But what about the responsibility these lead companies have to the people whose data they so carelessly possess and share?

It's no wonder we in this industry get such a bad rap. We are calling with all good intentions. It's the giant Fortune 500 lead companies that are poisoning this industry with their endless pool of recycled data.

With a husband in the web/tech industry, I insisted he work on getting real, real time leads for me. He probably worked on it to hush me up. But within a few months we were producing my own insurance leads, and eventually, even the most amazing final expense leads I could ever imagine.

One random day early on, we started the leads and bam — I received about eight leads right in a row that were completely bogus. I couldn't believe it. After looking into each and every one, we discovered they had all come from the same source.

Not knowing any better, my husband had opened our website used to procure organic leads to accepting affiliate referrals. Someone had gone to this affiliate company who would pay them for each entry, and they had entered lead after lead. And they were all referred to our site. Some of these leads were disconnected numbers. A few were actually real people who just simply said that months ago they had filled out something online, and the calls had never stopped.

So there it was. Exactly the reason the lead companies are all so bad. The leads they are generating themselves are real. They're real people looking for quotes. But they don't have enough leads for all the thousands of agents who want to buy them.

Instead of restricting the number of agents, they open themselves to receiving affiliate data from third parties, who receive affiliate data from third parties. It is truly an endless pool of data. So someone enters this random, inaccurate info knowing it's bogus. Seconds later it's pushed to us through the lead company, and we're getting a text or an email that we have a new lead.